5 productivity hacks to help you master your day.
Let's talk about productivity, one of my favorite subjects. I'm constantly trying to hack my day by listening to educational podcasts during my commute, ultra-scheduling my life, batching meal prep, etc. There are few key things that have helped me stay laser focused during this very busy time while I'm in school, working two jobs, building my client base and blogging. I thought I'd do a little posty about it, because I really feel good about my system. So let's get to it:
1) Make a plan.
I don’t know about you, but I get anxious if I don’t think through the next day. I really like to have a sense of when I need to wake up and what the day is going to hold. It helps me fall asleep to know that at least have a rough plan of action. So every night before bed I sit with a piece of paper and brain vomit all my ideas for the next day (keep it feasible). In the morning, I wake up, sit down with my coffee/lemon water and prioritize 2-3 items to commit to 100%. Not only does this give my brain a release at night and a directive in the morning, but it keeps me focused on what needs to get done the most.
Block each and every activity out on your calendar. That’s right -- take each item from your to do list and think about how much time you want to allocate. Give yourself a time limit and google calendar that shit. Then stick to the schedule. And don’t just block out work to dos. Block out your workout, your reading time, your meditation time, your lunch. Prioritize whitespace by making it a part of your plan. My calendar looks like pure chaos because I put EVERYTHING on it. Even commute times. But it's really organized chaos. If something gets messed up or you’re running behind, adjust. But try your best to be strict with the times you set. To do this you can buy a time blocker or a set a timer on your phone. When it goes off -- on to the next thing.
Tools: time cube, a timer on your phone
3) Set the mood.
This is big. I like to wake up, turn on some jazz or folk music, put the coffee on, sip my lemon water, light a candle and turn on the essential oils diffuser. This is all setting the stage for a productive and enjoyable work-from-home experience. These little rituals matter. If you don’t believe me, read “Daily Rituals”. :D
4) Eliminate distractions.
I see you over there checkin’ facebook and Instagram 50,000 times a day. Okaaaaaay I do it, too. And not only is it pure death for your productivity and work ethic, but it’s an emotional suck. Stop comparing yourself to other people and get to work doing your own thing. Sometimes willpower just isn’t enough, though. I invested in an app called Freedom that literally locks you out of any website of your choosing. You can block email, social media sites, or custom sites at any time you choose. You can even put it in on a schedule. So again, I’m most focused from 10-1,so I block social media on my phone and computer from 10-1 Monday-Friday. Brilliant!
Set your phone to do not disturb mode or turn it off if you can.
Say NO to social invitations. No one said it was easy to build your own business or to maximize productivity. Unless you intentionally build in whitespace, do not feel pressured to socialize if you don’t absolutely want to. Life is too short to say yes to things you don’t 100% HELL YES want to do anyway.
5) Maximize the times you are most focused and place tasks accordingly.
When planning, I like to keep in mind when I’m the most energetic. If my peak focus hours are from 10am-1pm, I’ll schedule tasks that require the most focus and effort. In the evening when my brainpower goes on autopilot (but I still need to accomplish things), I set easier tasks like emails, editing, watching a video to learn a new skill, etc. It’s okay to have ebbs and flows in your energy, but make sure you capitalize on the high times.
At the end of the day, YOU DO YOU. Only you know what works best. These are just the tricks that have worked for me. ;)
What one tool has helped your productivity the most? Let me know what you think!